Getting My Tonsils Removed

Do you still have your tonsils?  Today, I’m going to tell you about the time I had my tonsils removed.  Boy, was that fun!

While I was growing up, I was sick all the time with sore throats and I tell ya, they were not fun.  I missed a lot of school every winter because I was constantly sick with a sore throat.  The doctors kept telling my parents that I needed to have my tonsils taken out, but they didn’t want to jump the gun and have them taken out when I might outgrow getting sore throats all the time.

When I was in eighth grade, I was still plagued with sore throats.  I made plans to spend the night with one of my friends who lived on a farm and her dad and brothers just happened to be killing hogs that same day.  The day arrived and you guessed it, I had a little bit of sore throat.  But, I begged my mom to let me go to my friend’s house anyway.  She told me to stay in the house once we got to her house after school.  Did I listen?  Of course not.

After school, my friend asked if I wanted to go watch her dad and brothers, and of course I said yes, conveniently forgetting what my mom had said.  We stayed out there in the cold for quite a while and I was freezing by the time we got back inside the house.  And by now, my throat was really hurting.

We sat down at the supper table, and I could barely swallow my food.  Eating was so painful because whatever I ate, scratched my throat as it went down.  I excused myself from the table and went to the bathroom and cried.  I wanted to go home so badly even though I knew my mom would be mad at me.  My friend’s mom offered to take me home but I decided I would tough it out and go on to school the next day.

As I tried to sleep that night, I dreamed I was driving a car and I kept coming to this curve that I couldn’t get around.  It was actually me trying to swallow; my throat was almost swelled shut.  Early the next morning, I was so miserable and openly crying and they called my mom.  She came and got me and I went immediately to the doctor’s office.  He told my mom that we couldn’t wait any longer to take my tonsils out so they set a date for the operation.

The day arrived and I was dreading it because I knew that I would be given a gazillion shots.  And, I think my mom broke every speeding limit when she took me to the doctor’s office.  Now, what was unique about this was that the doctor was taking my tonsils out in the clinic and was only going to give me local anesthesia.  That’s right; I was going to be awake the whole time.

So, they got me in the chair and numbed my throat and started the process. It didn’t hurt at all but I could hear them cutting those puppies out.  It didn’t take very long but I had to stay the night at the clinic.  Just a little note here that this was the same clinic in which my little sister was born.

That night, I went to bed and slept really well although my throat was a little sore from the surgery.  The next day my Grandpa Thomasson came to take me home and I think he drove as slow as he could and hit every hole and rut in the road.  I was feeling pretty rough by the time I got home.

But, since that day, I have been free of sore throats and I can tell ya, it’s great.

See ya next Wednesday.


Canning Tomatoes

Well, I have to tell you about my first try at canning tomatoes all by myself.  Joel and I had talked about getting some tomatoes and canning them; but when I get something in my head to do, I generally jump right in and try to do it myself.  Sometimes it works and other times, I totally fail.  But I never give up trying.

Last Friday, I decided to check out this produce stand not too far from my house to see if they had any good tomatoes for canning.  Just my luck – they did.  They had some really pretty tomatoes there but I thought about how much those tomatoes would cost me.  So, I walked around a bit, and, lo-and-behold, I found some tomatoes in baskets.  I asked the girl who worked there how much the baskets cost and she said $5.  The baskets held about 15 pounds of tomatoes, really ripe tomatoes.  But of course I wanted those and she even let me top off the basket and still only charged me $5.  I have to say that the basket itself was worth more than five bucks so I really got a bargain.

I got the tomatoes home and took them out of the basket because some of them had some bad spots and I was afraid that if I left them in the basket, they would ruin and maybe ruin some of the other tomatoes.

Bright and early Saturday morning, I got all my jars and lids ready, and then I started peeling and cutting the tomatoes. By the time I finished that, I was up to my elbows in tomato peelings and the bad spots that I cut out were beginning to smell pretty rank.  I got the tomatoes in the jars, processed the jars and waited for them all to seal.  Yes, they all sealed.

I had also bought some golden delicious apples at the produce stand so I could make some cranapple butter.

So, on Monday morning, I peeled my apples and cooked them in cranberry juice (boy did my house smell good).  When the apples were softened, I put them in the food processor, then put them back in the pan with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar and cooked that until it thickened.  Once the mixture was thick enough, I put them in the jars and processed them.  And, once again, they all sealed.  I had a little bit left and put it in the refrigerator.  I tried it on a biscuit and I’m here to tell you, it is good eatin’.

I have to give Joel credit for getting me interested in preserving food.  He and Amanda have canned some meat and made some other goodies.  We have made plans to make some other treats too.  I can’t wait!

While I’m really enjoying doing all of this, it’s also bringing back some wonderful memories of when my mom and Mawdie used to can and freeze straight from the garden.

See ya next Wednesday.



Junior/Senior Trip to St. Louis

When you were in high school, did you go on field trips your junior and senior years? Well in 1965, when I was a junior, we went to St. Louis, Missouri, for our junior/senior trip.  Since my family and I had lived in St. Louis for a year, I felt like I was going to my second home.

We had to be at North Marshall High School really early in the morning on the day of our trip to get on the Greyhound buses that would take us to St. Louis.  I was so excited and my friends and I all got into seats that were close to one another so we could talk all the way.  A lot of the kids actually slept the entire trip but I was way too excited.

Once we got to St. Louis, the first thing on the agenda was to find a restaurant and eat.  It wasn’t like we were starving because we had eaten junk food the whole trip. Anyway, we found a cafeteria (I believe it was Morrison’s) which was pretty cheap but had good food.  I got some veggies and chicken and found some strawberry pie for dessert.  The only problem was that when I started eating my strawberry pie, I discovered it was rhubarb, not strawberry.  And, since I was a very picky eater, I didn’t like it at all.

After lunch, we went to the old Busch Stadium to see the St. Louis Cardinals play. Several of us were way up in the nosebleed section of the stadium and didn’t pay much attention to the game at all.  We were having way too much fun running through the stands.  I don’t even remember who won the game.

Once the game was over, we were taken to this really swanky theatre to see The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.  It was the first time I had ever been in a theatre with cinemascope screens.  Now, you have to remember we had been running around St. Louis all day and had just come from a baseball game so we were pretty scruffy looking.  A lot of the folks there were actually wearing furs and tuxedos so you can just imagine what they thought of us.

Since seeing it in 1965, The Sound of Music has been one of my favorite movies.  I still watch it when it is shown on television.  As a matter of fact, it was on this weekend; and yep, I watched it both times.  Julie Andrews was so funny; she truly thought she wanted to be a nun.  While she was at the convent, she was constantly in trouble with the Reverend Mother.  She was sent to be a governess for Captain von Trapp’s (Christopher Plummer) seven children and I tell ya, those kids were full of mischief. Oh but the captain was so handsome and so fierce – I instantly fell in love with him.  There were times when he was a little mean to Maria (Julie Andrews) but she fell in love with him too.  Since this movie was a musical, Julie Andrews sang several songs; and oh could she sing.  She taught his children to sing too and they put on a little show for a party the Captain hosted.

Anyway, Maria and the Captain did eventually marry; but when they returned from their honeymoon, they discovered he had been called into service for the German Navy. They competed a musical festival and made their way to the convent where the sisters hid them and helped them make their escape from Austria.  Yeah, it was a “chick” movie, but it is one of the greatest chick movies of all times, at least for me.

After the movie, we got back on the bus and went home; I think we all slept on the return trip.  I had a great time on my junior/senior trip that year.  The next year we went back to St. Louis and saw another great movie, but I’ll save that for a future tale.

See ya next Wednesday.

Making Dill Pickles

In earlier posts, I have shared my son’s and my canning escapades and today we’re gonna talk about the most recent one – making dill pickles.  This time, Amanda was able to be there and join in on the fun and we had a great time.

We had decided that we were gonna find a fresh produce market close to us and see what kinds of veggies we could get for canning and freezing.  So, on Saturday, we decided to go to the Monroe Fresh Market which wasn’t very far from my house. They got to my house about 10 am and Joel brought most of his canning paraphernalia so we could do two processes at a time.

We drove through Waxhaw to get to the fresh market and I tell ya, Waxhaw is a quaint little town.  You could tell it was an older town by all the buildings and a train track runs through it.  As a matter of fact, a train was passing through at the same time we were.  Anyway, we got to the market and I was a little disappointed that there were so few vendors and not much produce from which to pick good veggies.  A couple of the vendors had tomatoes and we bought a few of those.  But, we did find a lady who had cucumbers so Joel bought almost all she had.  I also found some crowder peas which I was gonna freeze.  Oh, and we found some okra too.

Since we were so close to Monroe, we decided we really needed to eat at Napoli’s, one of the pizza places in the world.  After lunch, we stopped at a couple more stands in Indian Trail and headed back to my house.

First, we had to plan just how we were gonna start making the pickles.  We had some cucumbers that could be stuffed into the quart jars whole or sliced in half and some that had to be cut into thick slices which would be put into pint jars.  We started working on the whole pickles first – got the jars in the hot water, washed all the cucumbers, got the brine cooking and got our assembly line all ready.  So, Joel got the jars out of the hot water, Amanda put the dill, garlic, peppers and pickle crisp in them and I stuffed the cucumbers inside the jars.  Once we got them inside the jars, Joel poured the hot brine into the jars, put the lids on them and put them back into the hot water to process.  Boy, did my house smell good.  We got seven quarts of whole pickles.

Once those were done, we started on the pint jars.  We pretty much did the same as with the whole cucumbers, but this time, we sliced them into thick slices.  And, again, we had our assembly line all set up.  It worked very well too.  We got one batch done and started on another and this time, we did some okra as well. In all, we got 3 jars of pickled okra and 11 pint jars of pickles.  We started about 2:30 pm and finished about 6 pm so it didn’t take long at all.

By 6 pm, we were all hungry again so we went to 521 Barbecue in Indianland; and folks, this is some good barbecue.  Naturally, I don’t like it as well as I do Sugar’s in Chattanooga, but it comes in a close second.

We were all pretty much worn out, but it was a great day and we accomplished what we had set out to do.  And, the best part of all was spending the day with Joel and Amanda.

Oh, and we’re planning to find tomatoes to can.  Stay tuned for that adventure.

See ya next Wednesday.